Flying Wild Thing ~ The Troggs
Returning home from the Salvo upstairs on the number 18 bus was often traumatic. On this occasion, a bigger boy, on his way home from one of the other schools in the area, decided to impress his pals by tormenting that fat boy in the bright green blazer and ridiculous school cap. Me. He seized my school bag, and sorted through it looking for something to mock me with. It wasn't difficult - there was my copy of "Wild Thing" by The Troggs. Removing the disc from its sleeve, he chucked it out through the bus window. Whether or not this won the admiration of his audience, I don't recall. I just glumly accepted the humiliation, as I had been trained to do, of course, receiving violence from a superior having been a constant feature of life.
But as I looked out of the window to bid Reg Presley's recording a final farewell, a wonderful thing happened. The bus had just pulled into the stop outside Mac Fisheries supermarket in Station Road, Harrow. The disc fluttered down and landed on the roof of the bus shelter. And there it stayed.
This only compounded my torment. Day after day, returning from school, as the bus pulled into the stop I would gaze forlornly down on the disc, as the ravages of rain and sun gradually degraded it, the blue label fading and, I imagined, the Wildness washing out. Countless other people, no doubt, spotted my record resting on the bus shelter roof, as they peered out of the many buses which pulled in there each day. Which is why it is quite remarkable that, after several weeks, I myself witnessed its removal. Just as my bus was pulling out from the stop one day, a gust of wind lifted it up and dropped it into a group of girls from Heathfield School. "Where did that record come from?” I heard one of them say.
I suppose she took it home. Whether or not it was still playable, I shall never know.
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